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Date: Sat Aug 02 1997 - 22:23:01 PDT

Salutations to Bhagavathothamas.

At the outset, I would like to thank the people who have reacted to my last
weeks remarks; whether favorably or unfavorably is immaterial. There is at the
least one who has tried to defend me in the spirit of the first amendment to the
United States constitution; I am grateful; one is better than none. The
following response is to address the concerns of those who have reacted
unfavorably for the most part. But more importantly, it is an attempt at putting
some of my concerns in a perspective which could hopefully be understood and
appreciated by at least a few of the members of this group. If it will pursuade
some of you to probe more into the needs expressed and would come forward to do
something about it, my time would be more than well spent. 
It is advantageous sometimes to be somewhat of an odd ball. One will become the
focus of attention with little effort. I think that I have earned that position
with my remarks, at least thats what it looks like considering all the kudos
that I am receiving.
Some people are upset that I made those remarks in the first place. Whether they
were justified in their reaction to what I had to say will depend on the
perspective from which one views the issues that have been thrown on the table.
It will perhaps take a bit of an analysis of the points made on both sides of an
issue raised which is more fundamental to the existence of a forum such as this
than we are willing to admit, viz., the "purpose". Let us leave all the
personalities out of this discussion for the sake of generalization of the
analysis.  Personalities always tend to muddy the waters and make us lose sight
of the truth that we are all seeking in the deep ocean of knowledge that our
Poorvacharyas have entrusted to us not only for assimilation by us but I believe
for perpetuation in generations to come.
Someone mentioned that the purpose of the group is stated at the very beginning
of the daily postings. This is true. One of the elements of the stated purpose
is to discuss issues that are of interest to Srivaishnavas. I am a Srivaishnava
by birth (if I may make that claim by virtue of my Genealogy that I state during
abhivadanas), in my beliefs and to some extent by practice as well. So I think
that I at least qualify to be a participant in this forum and hence, I entertain
an expectation that some of my interests would be respected, given credence to
and would figure in a civilized discussion. 
Having made a bold move to state as I did in the foregoing, I must try now to
make it clear what my interests are relative to this forum and what is it that I
am interested to see happen on this forum. My aspirations are simple: I am not
insensitive to the beauty and fervor of Alvar poetry or  profound scholarship of
Swamy Desikan. But I would like to see the teachings of our Poorvacharyas
translate into our nityakarmas, i.e., how we conduct ourselves in this life, how
we behave towards one another in various relationships because I think it is
important for us to learn this first which will eventually lead us to our
relationship with the Lord and not the other way around.
Therefore, I am going to try to make at least some of you see the point I am
making. I owe this to some of the youngsters that I am trying to convince about
the value of learning about Srivaishnavism via this forum. By the way, these are
not the fast food or MTV type of people as someone suggested. They are all my
nephews and nieces, and children of near and distant cousins who are born and
brought up in this country  who have had good upbringing, have done very well
academically, have a good understanding of the world around them. Unfortunately,
they lack the closeness of our religion that we felt growing up and hence,
cannot appreciate the inner meanings of the teachings of our Poorvacharyas as
found in printed literature or as explored on this forum.
Whether my expectations come to fruition is another matter. I am a believer in
Lords words: " Karmany evaadhikaaras te Ma Phaleshu Kadachana. Maa
karma-phala-hetur bhur maa te sango stv akarmani". My interpretation of these
famous words as they appear in chapter 2 verse 47 of "Bhagavadgita", is: Though
you have a goal in mind to achieve when you start out to perform an action, the
success or failure of such an action is not entirely up to you or the level of
effort that you put forth; though you are expected to do your best and hence, do
not plan on being bound by the result entirely; have a contingency plan. Because
you are expected to bring the consequences of your actions to a meaningful
conclusion which encompasses your duty, your ability to perform that action and
your propensity towards selflessness.  


Keshava Prasad.